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General Gaming  » Why do games have concept art, anyway?

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33 posts found
  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1440

2/01/13 9:58:30 PM#21

I have to make a concept in my job too. Before we make a website there is a design of it in photoshop that points out why things are the way they are. Sometimes that starts on paper but clients don't see the paper because it's too crude. Often we have to develop 3 designs with 3 unique feelings implied for the client to choose from. Usually the same functionality is there, it's just showcased different ways. For us, it defines the sizes of screen space used early in the project. That can then decide fonts and having the visual we can play "far off" games. What does the design look like zoomed out as if someone is sitting at a cubical in the distance, what stands out, is the company name displayed etc. Color changes can help the distance view if it's important to them. 

While I haven't made a game with a large studio I expect they use it the same way, it's a way to put the visual in your head on paper. They may start with line drawings and whiteboarding too, depends on the size of their team. One person can use paper, with a team, the whiteboard is better to start with then copy from.

Why they release them to us is probably because they paid for the work so it performs dual duty to let us see them after the models are complete.

Someone working in photoshop isn't using less talent than on paper. In fact, I draw doodles great on paper with liquid ink and hash shading with .5 mm pens. I find the mouse so much less able to do what my hand can that I would say someone skilled in photoshop deserves a little more than a hand drawing in pay to get that right. My best designs in photoshop were back when I used a marble mouse, good luck finding one with a scroll wheel and the marble not on the thumb. I think that mouse resembles how a pen is used and makes a difference because you push with your first and middle finger with the marble in the center as if you were controlling that smaller tool. They do have products that cater to hand drawers, tablets. I'd like one of those to see if it's like hand drawing but haven't looked at them for years.

  User Deleted
2/01/13 10:02:48 PM#22
It's not made for loading screens.  It's to give 3D model makers a heart attack.
  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4775

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2/02/13 1:18:50 AM#23
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Quizzical

Do games then have massive amounts of concept art but only post a tiny fraction of it on the game's web site?  Or does most of a game's artwork get made without having concept art for it?

 Everything you see in the game, every person, bush, tree, building... and many you don't start off on some level as concept art.  An idea in the head, sometimes then on paper, then on screen, then final version.

Every single thing in the game starts this way way, the art, the game mechanics, the skills.  Everything.

As others have said.  Showing some of the original ideas whether they made it in the game or not, is interesting.

So basically, some artists find it easier, quicker, better quality, or whatever to draw something on a piece of paper before making textures and vertex data that the computer can handle?  And that's what concept art is?

If it's only "sometimes" on paper, wouldn't that mean skipping the concept art stage the other times?

As for game mechanics and skills, yeah, you probably need some scratch work for that sometimes.  But that's not really concept art.  I've never seen a game web site post pages of handwritten computations.

 Concept art is not limited to paper, especially when using computers, it is the first drawings the visual representation of the idea that is in your head.  Thats it.  It is not the final product.  The first idea goes through many many changes.  This can be on paper, on a napkin, or on the computer. 

Get ready for this... it is a concept of what you want to do.

Other forms of medium may call it a "sketch."

When writing a book one of the first things to do is write our your idea.  When writing a paper you once you know your topic you first write the idea you want to convey.  When making a drawing you start out with simple sketches.  When writing a program you first write the purpose.  These are all concepts.  The art in a game is the exact same thing.  Not a difficult thing to grasp.

Absolutely every single thing humans on this planet purposefully make, everything without exception start out as an idea, a concept that over time becomes more solidified until you have the real item before you.  (hmm I guess accidental children would break this rule but theyn they aren't purposefull are they :)  ))

edit - the first code is not concept art but it is still conceptual, a rough draft.  They absolutely could show us this on a load in screen however most would find that totally boring and the few that didn't find it boring... well the game doesn't want them to know the code.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  madazz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1303

2/02/13 2:15:37 AM#24
Wow... someone has no idea of what concept art is. Concept art is used in many industries (including what I do). You typically only see a fraction of it, but it is used for different reasons. Some pieces are so great you may even take it further and create full fledged artwork out of it. Kind of a silly question considering one could just look up the word "concept".
  Zairu

Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/09
Posts: 493

Yes, this is a personal attack.

2/02/13 2:20:22 AM#25

how does the genius computer wizz not understand this?

i would answer, but the very first reply pretty much nailed it.

  Ichmen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1234

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2/02/13 2:38:06 AM#26
Originally posted by Quizzical
So basically, concept art is an internal step in making game artwork, and game development teams make however much concept art makes sense as internal steps to produce the best artwork they can on a given budget?  And then what they show on a web site is kind of like a "how the game was made" type of thing, that only shows some token stuff and leaves out the overwhelming majority of what they actually did?  That would explain why I didn't get it:  I never saw the point of "the making of..." for movies or whatever.

pretty much. to put it bluntly its cheaper to pay 20 graphic artists money to make 100 consept arts of the same item or area, and pick the best 2 of that to roll with in to 3d animating and texturing. 

simply because if you are paying 10k usd for a person to draw you a tree and you find out after they put a month in to designing and texturing and animating it all.. that the tree you wanted for a desert bio was a pine tree from a artic one.. you just wasted money and a whole lot of time lol. 

 

instead you sit down and go OK draw me a house with a door and a patio with a nice tree out front. then you get back 10 papers with differant doors/ walls/ roofs/ trees and you mash them all together and BAM you have dagoba or helms deep ect... it sounds really pointless but its one of the main building blocks in any game or product design lol

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  Ezhae

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/03/06
Posts: 734

2/02/13 2:40:21 AM#27
Originally posted by Quizzical
 

So basically, some artists find it easier, quicker, better quality, or whatever to draw something on a piece of paper before making textures and vertex data that the computer can handle?  And that's what concept art is?

If it's only "sometimes" on paper, wouldn't that mean skipping the concept art stage the other times?

As for game mechanics and skills, yeah, you probably need some scratch work for that sometimes.  But that's not really concept art.  I've never seen a game web site post pages of handwritten computations.

Not exactly. Concept artists sometimes do not work on actual in game assets at all. They just provide the vision of the charactes/world and then the guys who are responsible for 3d art do the work transfer the concept into 3d mesh. Just like with normal drawing it always helps to have some reference for what you are drawing it helps to have a 2d images (preferably both front and profile)  for 3d modelling. 

Ever since drawing tablets became more populara lot of concept artists uses them to create the art. It's much easier to draw digitally because you have greater control of colours, effects and can change things much eaier without having to redraw the basic form. 

  MadnessRealm

Elite Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2705

Ignorance is Bliss.

2/02/13 2:41:38 AM#28
Originally posted by Quizzical
So basically, concept art is an internal step in making game artwork, and game development teams make however much concept art makes sense as internal steps to produce the best artwork they can on a given budget?  And then what they show on a web site is kind of like a "how the game was made" type of thing, that only shows some token stuff and leaves out the overwhelming majority of what they actually did?  That would explain why I didn't get it:  I never saw the point of "the making of..." for movies or whatever.

"Making of" can be interesting from an artistic and technical point of view (at least for those interested). Trying to understand how they do it, seeing the whole process, etc. A rather interesting example I came across recently is from one of the "The Hobbit - Production Diaries" on Peter Jackson's youtube channel. Since the movie was filmed in 3D, you have 2 concept artist drawing the same picture next to each other, but one is drawing the picture in blue whereas the other is drawing it in red (here). There's also this part where they have artists making miniature model of a set/scene before they build the real thing where actors will be playing (here).

It also helps those concept artists in landing more jobs by getting their work "out there" and it makes great wallpaper for computers as well :)

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  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2393

World > Quest Progression

2/02/13 3:22:29 AM#29
Originally posted by Quizzical

The concept art never gets included into the game itself unless it's at loading screens.  And the game itself pretty much never looks anything like the concept art.

Is concept art mainly a marketing thing, as it does sometimes show up in ads for the game?  Is it mainly done so that games can have nice looking loading screens that nearly everyone will want to skip as quickly as possible?

 

If artsyle ideas are being brainstormed it makes more sense to have them first "on paper".  It takes one artist to draw or paint a picture but multiple people, typically, to place that same entity into a gameworld first for review.  Plus, at the phase that concept art is created the engine may not even be up to put "demo" ideas in.

 

If you mean the same texture resolution you're probably right since drawings are stills and can be done in various detail depending on the tools used.  Most of the concept art I've seen have looked just like the in game entities with these differences in mind.  One game is GW2.  The artsyle of the concept art itself was cause for discussion but still matched the in game entities.

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6153

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2/02/13 4:05:38 AM#30
Originally posted by Quizzical
So basically, concept art is an internal step in making game artwork, and game development teams make however much concept art makes sense as internal steps to produce the best artwork they can on a given budget?  And then what they show on a web site is kind of like a "how the game was made" type of thing, that only shows some token stuff and leaves out the overwhelming majority of what they actually did?  That would explain why I didn't get it:  I never saw the point of "the making of..." for movies or whatever.

Game concept art is one of the most important parts of game development. It establishes mood, setting, textures and overall storyline for the game, and provides 3D artists with a reference as to what the game itself should look like. Videogame concept art is a dedicated profession by itself, although artists often branch into book cover art, movie concept art and other forms of digital painting. http://creativefan.com/epic-game-concept-art/

Sometimes pure concept art can seen as amazing paintings, for example look at the concept art for the movie Django: http://conceptartworld.com/?p=19067

Every video game character you’ve ever loved (or hated) started as a rough sketch during early development stages. Some artists nail the appearance of the hero, villain, monster, or scenery on the first few tries, but designers usually go through dozens of doodles before reaching the final, definite look. Check the 15 concept vs how it turned out picturers http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/01/concept-art-vs-character-models-a-visual-comparison-gallery/#vb-gallery:1:581007


 

 

  Isawa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/08
Posts: 1066

2/02/13 4:18:30 AM#31
Originally posted by greenreen

Someone working in photoshop isn't using less talent than on paper. In fact, I draw doodles great on paper with liquid ink and hash shading with .5 mm pens. I find the mouse so much less able to do what my hand can that I would say someone skilled in photoshop deserves a little more than a hand drawing in pay to get that right. My best designs in photoshop were back when I used a marble mouse, good luck finding one with a scroll wheel and the marble not on the thumb. I think that mouse resembles how a pen is used and makes a difference because you push with your first and middle finger with the marble in the center as if you were controlling that smaller tool. They do have products that cater to hand drawers, tablets. I'd like one of those to see if it's like hand drawing but haven't looked at them for years.

I've got a Wacom tablet and pen and it is much more like hand drawing than a mouse. Sometimes I even use it for non-drawing uses. Other than that, I feel like the question from the OP has been answered well enough.

  FromHell

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

2/02/13 4:31:22 AM#32

[mod edit]

 

you know, a game needs a CONCEPT before 100 graphics artists are locked in a room for 5 years to create the graphics for a game.

Concept art and game design documents are planning tools during production, not a marketing gag.

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  Jemcrystal

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2/02/13 5:03:22 AM#33
Originally posted by ignore_me

There are two things here:

Why do they have concept art?

-To build the game

 

Why do they show it to you?

-So that your imagination fills in the blanks with visions of adventure, exploration, and pleasure center of the brain Fun.

 

The first question is getting repeatedly answered.  Kind of shows no one is bothering to read anyone's posts but just wants to blab themselves.

 

It is the second question that really cannot be answered.  I find looking at concept game art interesting in that it reminds me people worked hard to make this game; even if I will end up declaring the game play crappy.  I DO appreciate the effort to create a virtual world.

 

[mod edit]

http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130324141403/gaea-the-legendary-realm/images/4/47/Illena1.jpg

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